Is Emirates' Dubai business class lounge worth $100 to visit?

Is Emirates' Dubai business class lounge worth $100 to visit?

Over the Christmas / New Year break, Australian Business Traveller will be revisiting some of our most popular articles of 2017. We’re still around to report on any breaking news during this time, otherwise our regular publishing schedule will resume on Monday January 8, 2018.

Emirates now lets travellers in economy buy their way into the airline's flagship business class lounge at Dubai for just US$100 (A$134) – but is it worth the asking price?

Emirates' business class lounge certainly ticks all the boxes for a weary traveller in transit.

That includes creature comforts such as showers, which will be welcome after the 11-14 hour flight from Australia to Dubai – although given the possibility of queues, we recommend the showers should your first port of call in case you have to make a reservation.

There are also rest nooks with a day bed so you can catch some sleep between flights.

A wrinkle here is that Emirates says your lounge access fee is good for only four hours in the lounge, so you might not want to spend too much of that time snoozing.

We've no idea how Emirates actively enforces this four-hour limit, but the airline claims that if you do stay for more than four hours – even due to "flight disruptions and delays" – you'll be up for an additional US$100 to cover a further four hours.

So what else does that US$100 give you? There's a self-serve buffet with an excellent spread of hot and cold food as well as snacks including Haagen-Dazs ice-cream.

While you'd be able to buy a meal in the sprawling Dubai terminal, there's something to be said about having plenty of choice and being able to graze the selection rather than limit yourself to a single dish off the menu.

If you fancy a drink or two to go with your meal, the lounge's bar is well stocked with beer, wine, spirits and champagne.

The Emirates business class lounge at Dubai's Concourse B goes a step better with a Moët & Chandon champagne bar, which also serves a selection of canapés created to complement each champagne...

... as well as a Costa coffee bar where you can grab a barista-pulled brew...

... or, at the Health Hub, a healthy spread of gourmet sandwiches, wraps, and salads alongside juices and smoothies.

To all that you can add the copious seating in Emirates' massive Dubai business class lounge – which runs the entire length of the terminal – and ample availability of AC sockets for charging up your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

None of these elements is worth US$100 on its lonesome. But roll them all together and as long as you've got three to four hours (or more) between flights, we'd rate this as a steal of a deal compared to sitting around in the terminal's public area.

And given that children aged 2-12 years pay just US$50 (A$67) and while infants under two years get into the lounge free, this is also a solid option if you're travelling on holidays with your family.

As a bonus, the ability to board your flight directly from the lounge rather than lining up at the regular ground-floor departure gate saves time as well as reducing transit hassle.

While the Emirates lounges include a password-protected WiFi network, we suggest logging onto Dubai Airport's own network which has recently been upgraded to deliver speeds up to 100Mbps.

Economy passengers can also jump straight into Emirates first class lounge for US$200 (A$268) but that's quite an ask compared to a typically low-range economy fare. We suggest that almost any economy class traveller will be more than satisfied with a couple of hours in the business class lounge.

Note that you'll need to be an entry-level or Blue member of Emirates Skywards frequent flyer scheme to buy your way into the business class lounge. You can sign up for Skywards online, and there's no cost – but this shouldn't be something you leave until you've just landed in Dubai.

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

24 comments

  • RTWFF

    RTWFF

    28 Apr, 2017 11:01 am

    You had me until the bit about children for half-price and infants for free. Is there an adults-only section?
    Member who gave thanks

    Johnsy

  • jrfsp

    jrfsp

    28 Apr, 2017 11:54 am

    Certainly not worth it for the concourse C lounge which i recently had the pleasure of ...after being refused entry to concourse A lounge 
    No member give thanks

  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    28 Apr, 2017 03:26 pm

    $100 for showers and a snack?  Pricey. Have access and it's great to freshen up en route to London but it's very tight schedule on QF 1. Godsend when you are delayed as I was on QF 9 recently for 7 hours. 
    No member give thanks

  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    28 Apr, 2017 04:41 pm

    Sounds pretty good but I can see the lounges being a lot more occupied with all the children making noises. 
    No member give thanks

  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    29 Apr, 2017 11:34 am

    'child like' behaviour/noises is not the exclusive domain of children!
    No member give thanks

  • R Kohan

    rk1

    28 Apr, 2017 04:43 pm

    No way. I would not stopover anywhere in Dubai if they paid me $100!

    No member give thanks

  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    28 Apr, 2017 06:16 pm

    Could be a bit tricky doing this if you are on QF1 and 9. Have heard many comments like this and frankly do not see the concern as it is simply a stopover and even if visiting, Dubai is a pretty easy place to get around. The summer heat is the only thing to avoid to be honest. 
    Member who gave thanks

    wdeguara

  • Looking

    Looking

    29 Apr, 2017 08:17 am

    It's the ethics and morality bit that irks many people with the stop over in the homophobic, misogynistic land of the UAE.
    No member give thanks

  • ivanb52

    ivanb52

    28 Apr, 2017 05:58 pm

    A while back I had a 7 hour connection at Doha and used the Oryx lounge at US$45.  Probably lower quality than DXB business level but I thought it was worth the price.  The occasional unruly spolit child did spoil the calm somewhat but bearable compared to alternatives outside.
    No member give thanks

  • dravid74

    dravid74

    28 Apr, 2017 10:32 pm

    but Dubai terminals have free shower rooms...
    Then you can just go to a restaurant and pay for whatever meal you want... have some champagne... and still probably spend less than $100
    No member give thanks

  • Serg

    Serg

    29 Apr, 2017 12:15 am

    I do not know how lounge in Dubai looks alike, but it should be better than in Bangkok (where I been and it very good) and I would happily pay $134 for visit if I have layover 4 hr plus that is easy to achieve for example in MEL-DXB-KBP route despite promised by QF "convenient one hop to any city in Europe". For 2 hours brake IMHO asking price is way too much.
    No member give thanks

  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    29 Apr, 2017 11:31 am

    if you have the means, go ahead, knock yourself out.
    No member give thanks

  • Michael Gibbons

    rowwdy

    29 Apr, 2017 04:06 pm

    If flying to the UK with a partner, probably better value picking a QF flight number and joining Qantas Club, especially if you can get the discounted rate. 
    No member give thanks

  • Phil Young

    Phil Young

    30 Apr, 2017 12:47 pm

    However, Qantas Club members only get access to Qantas Clubs, and there isn't one in Dubai, and many other places that QF flies to including LAX, Heathrow, Tokyo, Dallas, Joburg & Santiago.
    No member give thanks

  • Michael Gibbons

    rowwdy

    30 Apr, 2017 07:27 pm

    Fortunately they have acces to Qantas International Business Lounges and selected partner lounges such as the Emirates Lounge in DXB. Membership is quite useful if you fly QF internationally in Y. 
    No member give thanks

  • Doubleplatinum

    Doubleplatinum
    Banned

    29 Apr, 2017 05:57 pm

    Alcos would be the only ones jumping at this offer, you could just see them now back and forth to the bar to top up to make sure they get their $100 worth.
    No member give thanks

  • ajstubbs

    ajstubbs

    29 Apr, 2017 06:28 pm

    Plenty of J and F passengers doing the same right alongside! It always amazes me how much some people drink when flying. 
    No member give thanks

  • Brock Flowers

    Brockf

    30 Apr, 2017 03:23 pm

    Would have been upset if I had to pay last night in the concourse B lounge - showers not working! 
    No member give thanks

  • traveller90

    traveller90

    1 May, 2017 08:42 am

    I travel mostly in Y - yet I see the Emirates brand and service levels provided to both the F and J customers, whom have paid top dollar for their travel experience, being watered down by a "pay to enter" arrangement to both the J and F EK lounges. I feel it reduces the value of their travel experience and the exclusivity of their travel experience.
    No member give thanks

  • Elizabeth Williams Williams

    parislizzie

    1 May, 2017 08:56 am

    I will be travelling Melb-Dubai-Rome-Dubai- Melbourne in May
    First 3 legs are in business but Dubai Melb Economy with no chance to upgrade.
    I would love to take advantage of the business lounge offer 
     for $100 US ( before the last longest sector home )  It appears you cannot book ahead of time, just at the lounge when you arrive.   Is that correct? Thank you to David and everyone for such great information.
    No member give thanks

  • Johnsy

    Johnsy

    1 May, 2017 03:56 pm

    What's the extra features in the first class lounge?   I would pay to enjoy that for 4 hours ! Whilst the sticky screaming kids tear apart the business lounge.. lol
    No member give thanks

  • Malvern_customer Malvern_customer

    AGoldring

    12 Jun, 2017 10:44 pm

    Pity, this devalues the premium experience you pay for. Shame 😟
    No member give thanks

  • AfricaTraveller

    AfricaTraveller

    20 Jan, 2018 05:25 am

    As an Emirates platinum member, I'm always in the F lounge in Dubai and personally I find it exceptional in all respects. Food, alcohol, amenities are.....first class!
    No member give thanks

  • AfricaTraveller

    AfricaTraveller

    20 Jan, 2018 05:27 am

    And I have no objection to people buying their way into EK lounges. It only bothers those who wish to pretend and appear that they are somehow more important than they are.
    No member give thanks

Guest

27 May, 2019 11:36 am

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